"The Odd Couple" 1\3 TNG; R\T, m\f
From: xmasfrog@aol.com (Xmas Frog)

Title: "Odd Couple"
Series: ST: The Next Generation (R\T, m\f)
Rating: PG for mild shtuff
Copyrights: To Paramount, etc.

Deanna haphazardly ripped the ties from her hair and shook her head, her
wavy mane free of its confines. Pulling off her uniform jacket, she
ungracefully flopped onto the couch. "Music," she commanded. "Please specify,"
the computer responded unemotionally. Sighing, Deanna shut her eyes and waved
her hand in a gesture of dismissal. "Anything. Run most recent selection."
Instantly, an ensemble swung into a rendition of Clair de Lune. "No no. Play. .
. ." Deanna squinted her eyes shut impatiently and blew air from between her
lips. "Play 'I Can't Be Bothered Now.' Now." The tempo quickened, and a song
from the old terran musical "Crazy For You" filled the Counselor's quarters.
She grinned. "Much better. Please display communiques." The LCARS lit up; a
list of at least twenty messages appeared. Deanna scanned them and nearly had a
heart attack-- 17 of the 18 messages were from her mother. She tapped a button
and quickly began to replay them in chronological order. 
"Little One!" Her mother's image greeted her cheerfully. Inwardly, Deanna
let out a sigh of relief. At least nothing bad had happened. "I'm sorry to
bother you," her mother continued, "but I have some wonderful news and I simply
couldn't wait to tell you! Well, perhaps I should wait-- it might be better to
tell you in person. I'll see you soon." Her mother's image faded, but quickly
reappeared in the second communique. "Little One! Where are you? Isn't that
duty shift of yours over yet? Well, I'll try again later." The Counselor rolled
her eyes. "Do any of these messages contain anything relevant?" she questioned.
The computer seemed a bit confused. "Unknown," it replied. Deanna grinned
sarcastically. "My thoughts exactly. Start sonic shower. Continue playing
messages, audio only." From the bathroom, Deanna heard the water spray switch
on. Her mother's babble quickly mixed with the music already playing,
(intentionally) drowning out most of what she said. As Deanna headed to wash
up, she completely missed the hasty phrase her mother exclaimed.
"I'm getting married. . . ."

Troi dabbed a tiny bit of Gardenia perfume at the nape of her neck. Her
hair was pulled in a loose French braid, her eyes accented with only the
tiniest bit of mascara. She wore a plain, baby-blue dress; it had long sleeves
and swirled down to her feet. The neck scooped teasingly low in a gentle "V"
shape. Satisfied, she slipped into a pair of backless sandals and headed out
the door.
She didn't even bother chiming, but walked directly into Will's quarters.
The small table was set ornately and a single candle burned in a glass stand.
Riker was not to be seen. The air was warm and smelled of some delicacy,
probably whatever the Commander had cooked for dinner. A moment later, Will
waltzed out, carrying a covered dish which he juggled and quickly set on the
table. He looked up and noticed Deanna in his doorway. My God. She looks like
an angel. "Hello, Deanna," he greeted her warmly, a smile lighting up his
features. Deanna grinned coyly and stepped up to the table; as she expected, he
pulled out a chair for her and she proceeded to sit down. "Good evening,
Commander." As Riker moved behind her, he caught the faintest whiff of
gardenias. He had to struggle to keep himself from sweeping her up, running his
fingers through her hair. . . .
As if aware of his thoughts (she probably was), Deanna shifted in her
chair. Riker quickly picked up the bottle of champagne and carefully poured it
into two flutes. He set one down at both their places and then sat down
himself. He wore a blue silk shirt and casual black pants-- the outfit offered
a tempting view of his upper body, Deanna noted appreciatively. Wordlessly, she
raised her glass and clinked it against Will's. She sipped the delicious gold
liquid and surveyed the contents of the table. "What have you attempted this
evening?" she questioned sarcastically. Riker grinned just as innocently and
removed the lid from the platter. "Chicken marsala. I think you'll like it."
"We'll see about that," Deanna replied, helping herself to some of the
delicious looking meat. She cut it into dainty pieces, watching Will watch her
every move. Slowly, she placed a forkful in her mouth and began to chew.
"Well?" Riker asked eagerly. Deanna swallowed and sipped her champagne.
"Excellent." Will relaxed, leaning back in his chair and helping himself to his
own concoction. "I'm glad you like it." This change in mood signaled the end of
the flirting, and both quickly settled into a more intimate role. 
They continued to chat, questioning each other about their days and about
life in general. Dessert consisted of lemon meringue pie, also made by Will.
When they had finished eating, Riker lightly clasped Deanna's hand across the
table and studied her features. Deanna simply contented herself by gazing into
his eyes. They remained like this for some time, lost in each other. Deanna
finally broke the silence. "How about that walk on the back, Commander?" Will
grinned devilishly. "One walk on the beach, coming right up. He stood, offering
his elbow to the Counselor which she cordially accepted. They left and headed
for the holodeck.
The Risan sun set in a blaze of reds and oranges, its rays lighting up the
pearly sand. Deanna slid her sandles off and waited as Will did the same. She
laced her fingers into his, and the two set off down the beach. They wandered
in silence, pausing when they reached a considerable distance from the entrance
to turn and watch the sun slink behind the horizon. Riker wrapped his arm
around Deanna's waist, and as the star bade its final adieu to the day he
turned her towards him, pressing his lips against hers. She leaned upward
unconsciously, almost on tip-toes, to meet his kiss. Will lifted her the
slightest bit and noticed how perfectly she fit against him. He gently stroked
her hair and let their kiss become more passionate. 
After what seemed an eternity they broke apart, both of their eyes shining
with a light that was only now, in the presence of the twinkling sky, visible.
Although he desperately wanted to sweep Deanna off her feet, Will exerted an
incredible amount of self-control by simply taking the Counselor's hand and
continuing their walk. Troi grinned and noted to herself that it was something
else Riker proved he had, besides will power-- maturity, perhaps. Almost on
air, the two glided across the beach, the grip of love settling on both of
their hearts as subtle and gentle as the night breeze. 

* * *

Will sat bolt upright in bed. What had woken him up? He strained against
the darkness to determine what it was that had disturbed his reverie. It wasn't
the alarm-- he had the chronometer set to a loud, screeching noise to make sure
that he never overslept. "Bridge to Commander Riker." Realizing it was his
communicator, Riker fumbled about on the nightstand. He found the badge and
quickly tapped it. "Riker here," he replied somewhat groggily. Data's voice
patched through, as alert as ever. "Commander, I am sorry to disturb you, but
we have just received word from your father. He will be beaming aboard from the
planet's surface in approximately ten minutes." Riker struggled to bring his
thoughts into focus. What? His father? What was his father doing on Salis VI,
and why in the world had he chosen to come on board at-- he glanced at the
chronometer-- three in the morning? Sighing, he pushed his questions aside and
responded. "What transporter room?" "Transporter room three," the android
responded. "Thanks Data. On my way."

Riker straightened his uniform as he stepped off the turbolift-- and
almost collided with the Counselor. "Deanna?" The Betazoid looked just as
confused as he did. She hadn't even bothered to get dressed, but had simply
thrown on a robe. "Will? Why are you awake?" "My father's coming on board. . .
." ". . . .So is my mother." They looked at each other in confusion.
Simultaneously, they both continued from the corridor into the transporter
room. The Chief was obviously not on duty, as it was the night shift, and in
his place a young man Riker knew to be Lieutenant Garris stood at attention.
Garris noted the entrance of the Commander and the Counselor, and also the way
Riker had his arm encircling her waist in a protective gesture. "Two to beam on
board," he stated simply. Riker nodded. "Energize." The air glistened, and a
moment later both Lwaxana Troi and Kyle Riker had materialzed-- holding hands.
"Little One!" The elder Troi cried, stepping forward to embrace her daughter.
"Mother?" Deanna queried, a completely puzzled look pasted on her face. Lwaxana
glanced backwards at Kyle, pulling him forward. "Little One, we have some news
for you and William. Kyle and I are getting married."

"The Odd Couple" 2\3 TNG; R\T, m\f
From: xmasfrog@aol.com (Xmas Frog)

"I happened to be on Betazed doing some. . . . reconnaissance," Kyle
began. Will gazed out the viewscreen, a vacant look in his eyes. He chewed his
lip. "I met Lwaxana by happenstance one day, and well. . . ." "I know the
rest," Will finished for his father. Kyle nodded slightly, taking a long swig
of his drink. "You know the rest." Lwaxana smiled broadly. "Isn't it
incredible? I knew you two would be so happy for us!" she exclaimed. Deanna
tried to retain her composure. "Mother, if you're happy, then I'm happy. But
this is going to have an-- interesting-- effect on Will and I." She glanced at
Will to receive confirmation, and he nodded, turning to face his father. "It
certainly will. Did you ever think about that?" He added angrily to his father.
Kyle sighed in frustration. "Of course we did. But I guess you just can't keep
two forces of nature like me and Lwaxana apart!" He wrapped his arm around the
elder Troi. "In any event, Ms. Troi will become Ms. Riker in one week. I'll let
you two talk things over. . . . Lwaxana and I have some business to attend to."
He cast a devilish look at Lwaxana and helped her to her feet, both walking out
of Ten Forward a few moments later.
"Well," Deanna stated, for lack of anything better to say. Will turned to
her, sudden anger flaring up. "How could they?!" he spat vehemently. "Will,
they didn't do anything wrong." "Nothing wrong? Nothing wrong? Fine, my dad
finds a woman and wants to get married. Not fine, that woman is your mother! Do
you realize what that's going to make us?!" "Step-siblings," Deanna supplied.
"Yeah. Step-siblings. For God's sake, Deanna, we'd be like. . . . incestuous or
something." Deanna's patience was wearing thin, and she fought to keep her
voice from rising as she spoke. "That's ridiculous. Nothing between us would
change, Will." He narrowed his eyes, the fire and ice now directed at her.
"That's what you think." Abruptly, Riker stood and stormed out of Ten Forward.
Deanna held her head in her hands, sighing loudly. It was going to be a long

Deanna continued to stare at the PADD, in effect trying to tune out her
mother. "Oh Deanna, it's going to be marvelous, simply marvelous! I'll have the
holodeck room fixed up like a Betazoid wedding chapel, and we can honeymoon
here, right on the Enterprise!" Deanna smiled thinly, but didn't look up. "Do
you really think that's wise, mother? You know how your last wedding turned
out." "Oh, Kyle's nothing at all like Campio. He's wild, and so. . . . so. . .
." Lwaxana was interrupted by the door chime. "Come in," Deanna called
absently. The doors slid open to reveal Will. "Deanna, Ms. Troi," he addresssed
the women, in an attempt to be amiable. Lwaxana grinned slyly. <<I'll leave you
two alone to. . . . do whatever you two do,>> she thought-cast at her daughter.
Deanna waved and chose not to respond. "Good-bye mother. I'll see you tonight."
"0600 hours!" Lwaxana called cheerfully, exiting the Counselor's quarters in a
swirl of ruffles and bangles. 
Will remained unmoving for quite some time, waiting for an invitation that
Deanna refused to give. "May I sit?" he finally asked. Deanna set the PADD down
on the table, pursed her lips, and nodded. Will sidled onto the couch across
from her and leaned forward, his eyes meeting hers. "I've been doing a lot of
thinking lately." He waited for response from Deanna, but received none. He
decided to continue anyway. "I'm sorry about the other night." Sighing
exasperatedly, Deanna rose to her feet and started pacing the room. "Will, this
hasn't been any easier for me. After my father died, I saw my mother fall to
pieces. Every attempt of hers at a new husband since then has been disastrous
to say the least." Will quietly stood and turned Deanna so she was facing him.
"I'm not just talking about them, Deanna. I'm talking about us." She avoided
his gaze and broke away, continuing her pacing. Will's voice became almost
melancholy as he spoke. "This is going to change everything. . . . . I don't
want to lose you again." Something in his words made Deanna stop. She turned,
slowly, and approached him, letting herself be enfolded in his arms. "You won't
lose me," she whispered. He tilted her chin upwards to look her squarely in the
face. "Promise?" "I promise," she answered without hesitation. Will released a
breath he didn't know he had been holding. He sat down on the couch, pulling
her next to him. She curled up against his chest, pulling his arms tighter
around her.
"Things are going to change, you know," Will stated. Deanna shut her
eyes. "I know." "Have you been able to read your mother? Does she really love
him?" Deanna grimaced slightly. "I haven't. I think I'm afraid to find out the
answer." Will stroked her hair gently, pulling her closer to him. "Well, there
is one positive side to this situation." Deanna tilted her head, puzzled. "And
what might that be?" "Family reunions ought to be pretty interesting."

"Cancel all appointments for the remainder of the day," Deanna commanded.
"Acknowledged." With the computer's confirmation, a tiny shiver of excitement
and adrenalin ran up the Counselor's spine-- for some reason, whenever she
cancelled appointments she felt like she was playing hookey. Deanna wrinkled
her nose. She had only ever done that once-- it was not something she liked to
dwell on often. Picking up her battered copy of Betazoid poetry, she ordered a
cup of hot chocolate from the replicator and tried to forget about the huge
headeache her life had suddenly become.
Tried was the key word. A few seconds after she had started the first
poem, her door chimed. "Come in," she stated irritatedly. She pushed the book
aside and immediately began to explain to her patient that she was taking the
day off. "I'm sorry, but I've decided to cancel appointments for this
afternoon--" she stopped mid-sentence as she finally noticed that Beverly was
leaning on her door frame, arms crossed across her chest and an amused look on
her face. The doctor grinned politely. "Playing hookey, I see." Deanna rolled
her eyes and sat back down. "You could say that. How can I help you?" Crusher
sat down on one of the couches and grinned even more politely than before.
"Well, if you weren't playing hookey, I'd say I needed a little counseling. . .
." she trailed off as Deanna shot her a look that could have killed a targ.
"Just kidding." "Are you sure you don't need counseling?" Deanna asked
skeptically. "Positive." "Good. I wasn't going to give you any anyway," she
replied, sipping her hot chocolate. "Seriously, what brings you to the
Counselor's quarters?" Beverly glanced at her nails and buffed them on her
uniform top. "Nothing really, just wanted to find out how you were." Troi
picked up on something and decided to pursue it. She scrabbled over to Beverly,
taking her hand and examining it.
"Nail polish?" she asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow in amusement.
Beverly quickly snatched her hand away and turned a mild shade of pink. She
mumbled something about "wanting to look nice" and Deanna even thought she
heard the word "captain" mentioned. "Don't worry. I won't let the Captain know
you still sleep with a teddy bear," Deanna said sincerely. Beverly threw a
pillow at her and rolled her eyes. "And I won't tell Will about what you did
after the little Ro Laren incident," the Doctor added. "By the way, how is
Will? I bumped into him on the turbo lift." "He's good," Deanna replied trying
to sound nonchalant. "How's your mother?" Deanna returned to her seat on the
couch and brought her knees up to her chin, wrapping her arms around her
ankles. "Don't even mention my mother. The whole situation with her and-- God,
I don't even know what to call him-- Kyle Riker is absurd." "Does she really
love him?" Beverly inquired. 
"I don't know. I think that part of her is fond for him, but I don't know
if she's not just lonely, or going through the last stages of her sexual
"Well why don't you just ask her and find out?" 
"I suppose. I'm not sure that I want to know. You know, Will asked me the
same thing."
Crusher nodded with satisfaction. "Great minds think alike. How are you
Deanna sighed, reaching for her hot chocolate\security blanket again.
"Another difficult question. We're alright, really, but my mother and his
father have been putting a lot of strain on our relationship. I can't imagine
Kyle Riker as my step-father."
"Or father-in-law," Beverly couldn't resist adding. She shielded herself
from Deanna's pillow assault. 
"Beverly, can I ask you a serious question?"
"Of course."
"What in hell am I supposed to do?"
Crusher thought for a moment.
"Change your name and move to Australia."
"Change my name to what?"
"Deanna Riker."
Beverly ducked as a stray pillow came soaring at her head.

"The Odd Couple" 3\3 TNG; R\T, m\f
From: xmasfrog@aol.com (Xmas Frog)

Will rang the door chime and waited patiently, hands folded behind his
back. After about ten seconds of nothing happening, he tapped his communicator.
"Locate Kyle Riker." "Kyle Riker is in his quarters," the computer replied.
Sighing in frustration, Will pressed the chime again and tried to remain
placid. This time, the door slid open almost immediately as a voice from within
the room called "Come in." 
Will stepped inside his father's guest quarters. The room was sparse,
minus a few items of clothing strewn about. A thought crossed Will's mind and
he silently thanked his lucky stars that his father had not decided to room
with Lwaxana. "Will!" his father called, as though surprised to see his son.
"To what do I owe this honor?" Will was clearly annoyed, and he narrowed his
eyes slightly. Checking himself, though, he tried to remain unaffected and he
took a deep breath before starting. "Dad, let's just cut through the
formalities. You know the reason I haven't been to see you these last few
days." There was no anger in his voice, only the smallest hint of bitterness.
He was merely stating a fact they both understood. Kyle nodded, motioning for
his son to sit. "Yes. I do know."
A bottle of brandy rested on the table, and Kyle poured a flagon for both
himself and his son. Will accepted the drink gratefully and downed it in one
swig, savoring the burning taste of the ale as it trickled down his throat.
"Will, I don't want to hurt you." "Well you're doing a pretty lousy job," the
Commander snapped. He quickly regretted his words. "Dad, I'm not here to argue
with you. I just wanted to let you know. . . . whatever you do with your life
is your business. I may not agree with it, but I do want you to be happy." Kyle
downed his own drink and poured himself another. "I am happy," he stated,
perhaps more to convince himself than his son. He chanced a quick look at Will.
"I'm sorry if this whole thing is upsetting you and Deanna." Will shrugged,
unsure of what to say. "Can I just ask you one question?" he finally said. Kyle
nodded. "What do you see in that woman?" At this Kyle laughed, slapping his
knee and pouring more brandy out. Will took the bottle from him when he was
done, doing the same. "She's. . . . she's. . . ." "Not mom," Will interjected
quietly. Kyle looked pensive. "No. No, she is definitely not your mother. But,
well, she's somebody, Will. She's outgoing, and adventurous, and a little bit
like me." The two men stared at each other from across the table. Guffawing
loudly, Kyle reached over to pound his son on the shoulder. "She's a lot like
About a dozen shots later, the effects of the brandy had begun to settle
in on both Rikers. The empty bottle lay almost dejectedly on the table. "I hate
those bells," Kyle slurred zealously. He waved his hand and frowned. "They're
so damned. . . . so damned. . . " "Annoying?" Will supplied. His father nodded
rigorously. "Annoying! I just wanna rip 'em off somtimes!" Will nodded. "Yes,"
he stated profoundly. Kyle continued his outburst, clenching his fist for
emphasis. "Wax-- Lax-- Lwaxana," he managed to spit out. "I don't even like 'er
name. Why couldn't she be named somthin' easy, like Jen or somthin'?" "Yes,"
Will stated profoundly. Kyle sighed very loudly, examining the empty brandy
bottle. "Well wouldya look at that." Will jumped to his feet suddenly, wobbling
over to the replicator. "Brandy," he commanded. A new bottle appeared, and Will
took it with him back to the sofa. He set it down on the table, and Kyle
examined it lovingly. "Well wouldya look at that." He grinned widely and
clutched the bottle to his chest. "I tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm goin' over
thar right now, right this very instan', an' I'm gonna give her a piece o' my
mind!" Kyle whined, scrabbling to his feet and fully intending to head to
Lwaxana's quarters. However, he somehow ended up on his bed, and in a few
seconds was out cold. "Yes," Will stated profoundly. He frowned to himself, and
then staggered out the door and to his quarters. 

"Oooooh," Riker moaned, slowly regaining his equilibrium. His head
throbbed, pulsating to the imaginary assault of a large sledgehammer. He had a
hangover. Oh man, he had a hangover. 
His door chimed, and he managed to croak out, "Come in." His father,
apparently, had a hangover also. Kyle managed to lay down on the sofa,
clutching his head and stomach. "Oooooh," he moaned, sounding very much like
Will had a few moments ago. Will blinked a few times, manually bringing the
lights to a dimmer level. Kyle sat up to face his son. "Today," he managed to
say between alternating waves of nausea and pain. "Today what?" "Today. The
wedding." Kyle confirmed what Will had simultaneously concluded. Will sighed
and layed back down. He was still in uniform, he felt like something had
crawled in his mouth and died, and Lwaxana Troi was about to become his
step-mother. Great. Just great.

An hour later, Will felt just about good enough to go out into public. He
was scheduled to meet Deanna in the holodeck for rehearsal in a few minutes--
she was the maid of honor, he was the best man. He glanced at his new white
dress uniform, nodded approval, and headed out the door.
Deanna was as beautiful as he had ever seen her. She was dressed in long
violet gown that trailed behind her, her hair tied up in an elegant twist.
"Hi," he greeted her, attempting to sound as normal as possible. Unfortunately,
she saw right through him. "Do you have a hangover?" "Well. . . ." "You do,"
she answered for him, frowning in chastisement. He ran a hand through his hair
and shrugged. "What can I say. It was our version of a bachelor party." She
hooked her arm through his elbow and began walking. "We'll discuss it later. .
. . right now, we have a rehearsal to attend." Will shut his eyes and allowed
himself to be led to his doom.
Rehearsal went with little event. Both Lwaxana and Kyle put on airs of
everything being customary; neither said much but simply went through the
motions of their wedding. Captain Picard would be conducting the ceremony, and
the senior staff as well as others aboard the ship would be in attendance. 
Everything was ready. The holodeck program of the Betazoid chapel was
running, and Will couldn't help but smile as he thought of his first encounter
in such a place. Soft harp music filled the enclosure, the guests were seated
and expectant, and the moist air was permeated with the sweet aroma of the
exotic flowers placed on the altar and throughout the chapel. Will and Deanna
stood off to one side, ready to start processing as soon as the bride and groom
entered. Captain Picard was also "dressed to the nines," to use the old Earth
vernacular. He stood, expectantly clutching a Betazoid scroll, in the front.
Deanna blinked and strained her neck, trying to catch sight of her mother.
Riker straightened his uniform and subtly laced his fingers through Deanna's,
gulping softly. The harp music continued. Deanna nearly fell off the step as
she tried to spy her mother. The air was getting a little stuffy; the guests
cleared their throats and coughed politely. Picard tried to loosen the collar
on his staunchy white uniform, making a mental note to double-check the
accuracy of its measurements. Deanna did fall off the step, searching for her
mother; she quickly hopped back up and hoped no one had noticed. Will stole a
glance at his wrist chronometer. Five minutes had passed.
Ten minutes had passed.
Fifteen minutes had passed.
"Computer," Picard commanded authoritatively, "locate Lwaxana Troi." 
"Lwaxana is not aboard the Enterprise," it responded. 
Picard, puzzled, queried again. "Locate Kyle Riker." 
"Kyle Riker is not aboard the Enterprise."
Beverly Crushed smiled to herself, thoroughly amused. Picard set the
Betazoid scrolls down and attempted to readjust his collar. Will tugged at his
uniform and mentally released a sigh of relief. Deanna threw her hands up in
Wonderful. Just wonderful.

* * *
Will waltzed around the dance floor with Deanna. He smiled down at her,
drawing her just a little bit closer. "What a day," he said sarcastically. Troi
rolled her eyes. They had both found nearly identical PADDs in their quarters
from their parents, both making polite and hasty excuses for a departure from
the Enterprise. The wedding was off. Apparently, both the bride and groom had
gotten the worst case of cold feet in history. They had decided to continue
with the reception, however, as everyone was gathered and they had nothing
better to do. Couples chatted among themselves and helped themselves the many
delicacies that had been spread out in the lounge. Some even danced, as Deanna
and Will.
Riker once more turned his gaze to his date.
"Deanna?" he summoned her attention.
"If I ever pull a stunt like that, put me out of my misery quickly and
"Why Commander Riker," Deanna replied innocently, "are you implying there
will be opportunities in the future for you to pull such a stunt?" 
Riker opened his mouth to speak, but then shut it. Heck, who knew? 

;oD ~*~*The End*~*~